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Scientista Symposium for young women in STEM disciplines held in NYC

New York City – Last weekend the Scientista Foundation held its third annual Scientista Symposium, sponsored and hosted by Microsoft, in Times Square. The Scientista Foundation is a national organization founded by two Harvard sisters that empowers young women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math/medicine). The organization’s symposium is the only international symposium exclusively designed for college and graduate women in STEM fields.

The theme, “Scientistas, Stand Up! Becoming a Leader in STEM,” brought in 30 inspirational speakers from a wide variety of institutions and companies including Spectrum, Microsoft, Columbia University, NASA, and Massachusetts General Hospital. The diverse array of workshops and panels appealed to students in all STEM fields, featuring topics such as scientific communication, industry and and social good careers, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

The two-day conference centralized 170 students, professors, and scientists from institutions across the nation, allowing for networking opportunities and new friendships to form. An attendee and poster presenter, Madison Tyler from UMass Amherst, commented, “I had a great time, networked and met with amazing female scientists, and was inspired by the speakers. [I] look forward to next year!”

Many of those in attendance participated in the research poster fair competition, which awarded over $2,000 in prizes. There were 15 scientific disciplines represented across the 50 poster presenters. In the undergraduate category, first place went to Claudia Mimoso (Cornell University), second place to Stephanie Sawkicki (Fairfield University), third place to Zollie Yavarow (Mount Holyoke College), and honorary mention to Meghan Zimmer (Fairfield University). In the graduate category, first place went to Shuoxun Wang (Columbia University), second place to Martha Arellano (Columbia University), third place to Kaela Singleton (Georgetown University), first honorary mention to Sarah Edmunds (Miami University) and second honorary mention to Catherine O’Brien (NYU). After the event, Shuoxun Wang, the first place graduate winner mentioned, “I appreciate all the efforts you made to host this fantastic event and provide us the opportunity to communicate!”

The symposium would not have been possible without this year’s generous sponsors, including Microsoft, Cards Against Humanity, Nielsen, Wolfram, Columbia University Systems Biology, and BD Biosciences. Photos from the event and information about how to start a Scientista collegiate chapter can be found on the Scientista Foundation’s facebook page and official website (

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